Oklahoma surprised Florida State a few weeks back by swinging to a three-man front. Saturday, the Sooners inserted a wrinkle versus Texas, going back to a four-man line, featuring run-stopping end David King, end Frank Alexander and tackles Casey Walker and Jamarkus McFarland. The shift to a 4-3 brought outside linebacker Corey Nelson into the starting lineup; nickelback Tony Jefferson moved to back safety, and Javon Harris went to the sideline.
In obvious passing situations, Harris and end Ronnell Lewis replaced one of the tackles and Nelson.
The Longhorns went into the game hoping to pound the ball with freshman running back Malcolm Brown. But against OU’s 4-3 base defense, Brown found little running room and averaged just 3.2 yards on 17 carries.
And when Texas was forced to pass, OU’s nickel alignment led to eight sacks and five forced turnovers.AP Photo/Brandon Wade
Demontre Hurst and Ronnell Lewis starred for the Sooners versus Texas on Saturday.
“They snuck around pretty good and blitzed a lot,” Longhorns coach Mack Brown said. “We didn’t handle the blitz very well.”
The rest of the season, OU likely will be in the nickel against the pass-first spread offense of teams such as Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, and in the 4-3 against traditional pro sets, including Texas A&M and Kansas State.
THE SOONERS SET OR tied several team and Red River Rivalry records. OU’s eight sacks and 17 tackles for loss tied school records. The 84 sack yards and 113 tackle-for-loss yards were OU game records.
The three defensive touchdowns also broke an OU record.
“I don’t think I’ve seen that in many years,” Mack Brown said.
In Bob Stoops’ first game as Florida’s defensive coordinator in 1996, the Gators' defense scored three touchdowns, prompting UF coach Steve Spurrier to bet Stoops the offense would outscore the defense the next game.
“It’s really pretty special,” Stoops said. “To me, there’s nothing more fun than a defensive touchdown.”
THE 38-POINT MARGIN of defeat to OU was Brown’s third largest. OU beat Texas by 52 points in 2003, and 49 in 2000.
Ironically, the Longhorns were also ranked No. 11 in the AP Top 25 those seasons.
OU’s 55 points were also the third-highest point total against Texas in the series. OU scored 65 in ’03, and 63 in ’00. The next highest came in 1973, when the Sooners defeated Texas 52-13.
OU’S POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE with Bob Stoops and several players came and went without walk-on running back Dominique Whaley getting a single question from the media.Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
Dominique Whaley ran for a 64-yard touchdown in the third quarter against Texas.
As the players were about to get up and leave, Stoops said, “Doesn’t anybody want to ask Dom something?”
Whaley shook his head, “No,” but then was asked about his first OU-Texas experience.
“It was exciting,” he said tersely. “I enjoyed it. The rivalry -- can’t wait till the next one.”
Whaley was bottled up by Texas most of the day, but he broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It was the longest Sooners touchdown run since DeMarco Murray’s 65-yard dash in 2007.
Whaley finished with 83 rushing yards.
BRENNAN CLAY DIDN’T STEP onto the field at running back, as he is recovering from a shoulder sprain suffered the previous weekend. But he wasn’t needed for this game. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel called 52 pass plays and only 16 runs, 13 of which went to Dominique Whaley.
Freshman Brandon Williams got the other three carries, but those didn’t come until the game was well out of reach. Williams finished with seven yards.
WITH HIS NINE-CATCH outing, Ryan Broyles inched closer to the NCAA career receptions record. He is three receptions shy of matching the record of 316 set by Purdue’s Taylor Stubblefield from 2001 to 2004.
BOB STOOPS WAS STUPEFIED when a reporter inquired about his kickoff return defense.
“That's what you're going to ask me about?” Stoops countered. “Through five games we've only covered about 100 kicks and you ask me about the one kick.”